Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 2, 2014

Recommended raises reduced

Supervisors decrease proposed salaries by 20 percent
By Linda Wenger | Jan 13, 2014

The Washington County Board of Supervisors decided to lower the recommended salary increases recommended by the Compensation Board for elected officials by 20 percent, during a meeting Friday afternoon. Supervisor Stan Stoops voted no on the motion that was approved on a 4-to-1 vote. The Compensation Board recommended 5 percent raises for the attorney and sheriff, 3 percent raises for the auditor, recorder and treasurer, and 2.8 percent for the supervisors.
The raises for the county attorney and sheriff will be 4 percent, while the auditor, recorder and treasurer will receive 2.4 percent raises.
Before making the decision Sheriff Jerry Dunbar said that the goal of previous boards of supervisors was to get the salaries to elevate the Washington County elected officials up to the rank of 14 or 15 among the 99 counties.
“The board needs to determine, is that still a mark you’re trying to get to?” he asked. “I guess that’s one thing I’d like you to think about as you’re figuring this out.”
Supervisors Jack Seward Jr. said that the average salary for sheriffs in the state is about $79,700.
“Yours is a little above that,” Seward said. “All of our elected officials are above average.”
“Are we the average person? Are we above average or below average?” Dunbar asked.
“That’s my only additional comment,” Seward replied. “I don’t consider Washington County to be average, as far as our population, our work force and the people we do have serving the public.”
When Dunbar offered additional statistics that showed his salary is losing ground among the 99 counties, Seward said, “We have to balance that with what we’re taking out of the taxpayer’s pocket.”
When it came to raising their own salaries, the supervisors did not give themselves a raise.
One county resident, Les Zickefoose of Brighton, said, “In comparing this board to our past boards, to me this board has been up and above what we’ve had in the past by far. I certainly wouldn’t feel bad to see an increase of some sort for the supervisors. They come in under a tremendous load, I believe, and they’ve worked exceptionally hard.”
The board’s vote to not give them a raise was unanimous. The $1,200 a year stipend for the chairman of the board remains unchanged.
The second item on the agenda was to establish departmental guidelines and recommendations for the fiscal year budget 2014-15. They unanimously approved a recommended 2 percent salary increases for non-elected county employees and a 2 percent increase in the each department’s overall budget.
The supervisors will meet with each department head to discuss the departments’ overall budget during work sessions before the final county budget is approved.

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